Yoga is REALLY hard! Worth the effort? (Read 2256 times)

I look my best blurry!

    I started doing yoga and I plan to do it 3 times a week. It is much more difficult than I imagined! I feel like my hips and back are coming apart after the first week. I had noticed that several competitive and elite runners do yoga regularly. I wannabe a little more competitive so I thought I would give it a try. Have any of you been doing yoga? Has it improved your running? Reduced injuries? Increased core strength more than other activities. There is no doubt that it will improve flexibility although I'm pretty flexible anyway. Thoughts?

      Yes.  One great big thought.


      Unlike running, yoga is not a competition.  While it can be beneficial for runners (though I won't start on the idea of doing it because the cool people do it), treating it like you treat running might be a big mistake.  There's a reason why we call it "practice".


      For most of the poses... especially the harder poses and transitions... there are several different options that you can use to make the position more (or just as important, LESS) challenging.  You need to fit your practice to what you are ready to do.


      Also note that for runners, one of the biggest benefits from yoga besides strength training and flexibility is breathing, especially the whole 'belly breathing' thing.  Work on this just as much if not more than trying super hard to flex into the really hard positions.


      Bottom line: take it easy, establish some flow, and get into it over time.  As with anything else, too much too fast with yoga is a good way to get hurt.


        +1, from the man who actually incurred a calf strain for over-enthusiastic yoga.  "Relax harder!" isn't the way to approach it.


        A competent yoga instructor should be able to work with students to make the poses do-able without strain and without compromising alignments.  (The alignment focus may just be an Anusara thing, though.)

        "I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."

        -- Dick LeBeau

          I have no real evidence that it has helped me any, but I do know that when I have stopped doing Yoga I tend to get injured. I typically do Yoga after every run. Even if it doesn't help, I like doing it. It relaxes me and is a nice way to come down after a run.


          A Saucy Wench

            Yes it is beneficial


            Yes it is hard


            But echoing what srlopez and clive say, do not force poses.  If a pose is a strain find a block or a strap or a chair or something to help ease into the pose.  If you are using a video now it is worthwhile to find a yoga instructor until you are familiar with the poses and how to modify.  And by yoga instructor I dont mean "aerobics instructor who teaches yoga at 24 hr fitness cause they needed someone to fill the slot". 

            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

            No run...need sleepy!

              I'm a big fan of yoga.  In my fitter days I credit regular yoga as a major contributor to how good I felt. 


              +1 to everything else that's already been said.

                I think yoga is great.  I stopped in May and have had problems since.  I have to echo other comments to the post.  You are to stretch the muscles, not see if you can match the yoga instructor!  She/he is a) trained and b) does it all day long.   The instructor I went to was very careful to remind us runners to take it easy.  Breathe into each stretch to increase the benefit.  Regular yoga is very beneficial.


                My 2 cents.

                Suffering Benefiting from mature onset exercise addiction and low aerobic endorphin release threshold. Hoping there is no cure.

                12 Monkeys

                  I usually recommend that you only buy it with live cultures.  It is even better if you make it yourself, preferably from unhomogenized milk.

                      So, when I was a kid I couldn't get that stupid presidential physical fitness award thing only because I failed the sit and reach while many completely unfit kids could do that and nothing else. All the stretching I did in wrestling was no help at all.


                      Fast forward to adulthood and this experience seems to skew my view of yoga. Part of me thinks it's a good sport for people who don't want to break a sweat. The rest of me knows this is not true. All of me know's yoga would kick my ass.

                      Biking Bad

                      finnegan begin again


                        Check this out Ms Competitive. Yoga Master Championships

                        "... the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value..."  Thomas Paine Dec 23, 1776 The Crisis 


                        Adversity is the first path to truth. Lord Byron


                        "No one plans to fail…..they fail to plan" Skinny Pete


                          yoga is hard yes.  yoga is great yes, especially for us runners who don't really stretch well/enough.

                          but do not attempt poses that you haven't mastered in class at home to show off to your kids, yes like a head stand without the wall... you might end of with sprained ligaments in your right foot and be unable to run for at least 3 wks which completely defeats the purpose of why you were doing yoga in the first place!

                          Seriously, I do a class called yoga for athletes 1 a week, I don't know if it has made me a better runner but I feel really great after  the class.  It is both a exercise in stretching and strengthening.  So go for it, just don't do it at home Smile

                            Part of me thinks it's a good sport for people who don't want to break a sweat.

                            Clearly, you haven't tried Ashtanga Yoga.


                            Some of my Yoga sessions have made me sweat more than any other exercise I have ever done.


                            I look my best blurry!

                              sr- Who is competitive?  Not me!  Blush  I loved Lamaze breathing and I swear I do it when I run!  I can tell it will take time to master yoga breathing.  It's definitely a challenge to coordinate.  And I'm not cool and never will be, but they haven't kicked me out yet so I'll keep going. 

                              Clive- lol!   I will try to calm my inner competitive beast and scale back a bit. 

                              Ivleph- I like it, too.  I'm going to give it a few months at least.

                              Ennay-I go to a gym with certified instructors.  They seem very knowledgeable.

                              Trent- Yogurt is great with granola.  Yum.

                              Just devin- Try it, you might like it.

                              ruru- NO chance that I will be doing everything like the instructors any time soon!

                              xhristopher- It will kick your butt, I'm sure of it.

                              Mike- I love the Onion, thanks for sharing.

                              QST- Is that a recap of what happened to you?  Ugh.


                              Thanks for the feedback!  

                                Yoga, or rather my stupidity, did cause me to have to take a break from running. I was stretching my calf, because it was really tight. I decided to stretch the heck out of it. This was a huge mistake. I ended up stretching it until it popped. I don't know what popped, but it hurt and then I couldn't run for months.